‘Oppenheimer’ Wins Top Prize From American Society of Cinematographers

Television winners included “Barry,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Boston Strangler”

OPPENHEIMER Christopher Nolan Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in OPPENHEIMER, written and directed by Christopher Nolan/Universal Pictures

Continuing its streak through the pre-Oscar prizes, “Oppenheimer” has won the top feature-film award at the American Society of Cinematographers 38th annual ASC Awards, which took place on Sunday evening in Los Angeles.

Hoyte van Hoytema took the prize for his collaboration with director Christopher Nolan, which was shot on celluloid in both color and black and white. The acclaimed Dutch-Swedish cinematographer was previously nominated by the ASC for 2011’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and 2017’s “Dunkirk.” He is also nominated for the Oscar this season.

The win came on a weekend packed with awards shows, and one in which “Oppenheimer” had already won the top feature-film prizes from the Cinema Audio Society, Motion Picture Sound Editors and American Cinema Editors.

“Oppenheimer” has now won a top feature prize at eight different guild and professional association awards shows, also including the Producers Guild Awards, Directors Guild Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Art Directors Guild Awards. With a week to go before the Academy Awards, it has only solidified its position as a dominant frontrunner for Best Picture.

Television awards went to “Barry” (cinematographer Carl Herse, ASC) for half-hour series, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (M. David Mullen, ASC) for one-hour series, and “Boston Strangler” (Ben Kutchins, ASC) for limited, anthology Series or motion picture made for TV.

This year’s theatrical feature nominees were an exact match for the Oscars Best Cinematography nominees, but the two groups only agree on the top award about half the time. Last year, Mandy Walker scored the ASC award for “Elvis,” while the Oscar went to James Friend for “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

Also at the ceremony, honorary awards were presented to director Spike Lee (Board of Governors Awards) and to a trio of cinematographers Don Burgess (“Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away”) received the Lifetime Achievement Award; Steven Fierberg (“Entourage, “The Affair”) was given the Career Achievement in Television Award and Amy Vincent (“Eve’s Bayou) received the Presidents Television Award.

Lee’s honorary award was presented by three of the director’s cinematographer collaborators: Ernest Dickerson (“Do the Right Thing”), Ellen Kuras (“Summer of Sam”) and Matthew Matthew Libatique (“Inside Man”). In his speech, Lee mentioned that he and Libatique will begin filming “High and Low” (his reinterpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 crime drama) in three weeks.

The ceremony took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and was hosted by Ed Helms.

The winners:

Theatrical Feature Film: Hoyte van Hoytema, ASC, FSF, NSC for “Oppenheimer”
Spotlight Award: Warwick Thornton for “The New Boy”
Episode of a One-Hour Regular Series: M. David Mullen, ASC for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”: “Four Minutes”
Limited or Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made for TV: Ben Kutchins, ASC for “Boston Strangler”
Episode of a Half-Hour Series: Carl Herse for “Barry”: “Tricky Legacies”
Documentary Award: Curren Sheldon for “King Coal”
Music Video Award: Jon Joffin, ASC for “At Home” (Performed by Jon Bryant)


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